Do you know what it's like to believe you know the date of the world's demise?

You all ridicule the y2k survivalists now, you laugh, you say we were alarmist and, on the whole, rather stupid. But do you know us? do you know who were are, and who we were? We are your neighbors, we are ordinary people. And we were afraid.

Complete socio-economic collapse, they said, and we believed. No power, no food. For weeks, months, years, who knew how long. We knew everything the media wasn't telling us, that there were problems, and no one knew what was going to happen. We thought that, even if nothing happened, it was better to be prepared.

Be Prepared. We weren't Boy Scouts, we were survivalists. We wanted to survive.

We bought canned food, dehydrated food, wheat grain and a grinder, a solar cooker, a rototiller, a hand-pushed lawnmower, a hand-crank clothes washer, a two-man handsaw, two water filters, many cords of wood, two woodstoves, a generator, a truck, a house, a real handpump with a well.

We only did what we had to.

I'd read too many books, and I thought it would be kind of cool to live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland caused not by nuclear war, but by the demise of all computers due to a date bug. My parents were the ones who filled us with fear -- they told their relatives and a few of their friends, but otherwise kept it a closely guarded secret -- otherwise everyone would know where the food is.

We were like religious fanatics, and suddenly everyone was judges on whether or not they were "preparing." People were afraid of us.We drove out to our house a week before the "rollover", a week before "TEOTWAWKI", The End Of The World As We Know It, and had little contact with the outside world.

When it ended, we woke up the next morning, and everything was beautiful. We left our doomsday farm and went home, and pretended it never happened. We know now that it is endlessly better to be happy than to be prepared.

I know that some people live a survivalist lifestyle, and that for them, the fear and agony of the world's death never truly ends. For you, survivalists, I must say I am truly sorry.

There are survivalists. They think ahead to catastrophe, war and Armageddon. They will be ready in their bunkers with the 13 years of canned food and the army surplus clothing and the hand-crank radio and the emergency leisure activities and the guns. They are prepared...for almost everything.

There is a HUGE gap in their armor - a gap which could get any one of them killed.

Enter me.

I am a time travivalist (trav-VIV-a-list). I am prepared to go back in time at a moment's notice. If a wizard appeared before me and said "You have 5 minutes to get ready before I wizard your ass back to the 12th century"; I'd be like "Bring it on!"

I'd just have to get my pack which contains:

Lantern & oil
Band Aids
Needle & thread (black, brown and white)
Hydrogen Peroxide
4 safety pins
Latex gloves (2 pair)
Imodium AD
Syrup of Ipecac
Activated charcoal
Tonic water
Red Vines
(all original containers have been replaced with glass and clearly marked)

Then I also have this outfit that I invented for myself using my vast knowledge of different times and cultures - the outfit to least likely get me killed if spotted after my appearance in the olden days. It is a nun's habit for the most part - the outside has a veil and a black dress with long sleeves. It turns quickly into a Pilgrim outfit when the veil converts into a kind of nurses hat thingy. If I am projected into a time that is unfriendly to both nuns and pilgrim ladies, the skirt quickly reverses into a brown (tea dyed) long skirt and under the top is a white poet blouse and white petticoat. The nun's veil/pilgrim hat can be used as a little cape but only after unhooking the hidden brown vest underneath. The vest can be fitted into a men's style vest (Victorian) or a bodice (Renaissance). The skirt has 4 inches of extra fabric and can be pulled up to an empire waist for Edwardian times or it can be cut off and used for patching holes. If I go so far back in time that there are few or no people, I can remove the whole thing and wear my Laura Croft suit underneath.

I hope you will take this to heart and collect your own time travivalist gear - don't be surprised to wake up one day in the middle of the Spanish Inquisition. Be prepared.

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